Date: December 31, 2014
The group is sent to a suspected yakuza hideout to see if they are there and how many there are. They are spotted and have to deal with a security detail before they get the info they came for.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Getting the Goat"
Mountain Range southwest of Kumogakure
Hawks go out to all available shinobi currently residing in Kumogakure. They are to assemble at the front gate, be ready to travel, and have all of their gear checked for stability. The Raikage waits for them, standing just outside the gate with his hands behind his back and a serious expression on his face. Once everyone has arrived, he begins to speak.
"Those of you who were around during the Faceless situation might remember that during this time, members of Kamen Rai Da went rogue and attempted a coup of Kumogakure. During this time, my team and I, and some of our allies fought hard to expose these people and apprehend them." He looks off to the side. "Now, years later, intelligence reports indicate that a man going by the name of Goat, has been gathering the remaining members of the Yakuza Clan to his side. I have no idea what their agenda is at this point and time, however we cannot allow this faction to gain a foothold in the Land of Lightning."
He frowns, "Therefore, the Lightning Daimyo has asked me to create a task force to deal with this situation. Two day's travel from here in the lowlands to the southeast is an old yakuza stronghold. It's a compound built into the side of a mountain. Very tough to assault. Your task is to investigate this site and see if the Yakuza are indeed using this place as a base of operations." His expression turns firm. "Don't try to be a hero. This is an intel mission. If you come across opposition, deal with it, but be careful. Any questions?"
Ryouji sits atop Echo, his horse of choice in any mission. He leans forward, resting his elbows on the saddle. While he wasn't active during the coup of kumogakure, he has read the reports. He has no questions as he shakes his head and leans back in the saddle, patting the side of Echo's neck as he gathers up the reins of his horse, ready to ride out with the group.
Hige had heard that something big was happening and despite some of his own doubts, he decided not to be left behind. Plus he had a feeling his friends would be involved and he wanted to be able to keep an eye on them though they didn't really need it. Gathering all his equipment the boy quickly made his way to the gate and waited in silence, his nin-pup waiting at his side looking just as serious as Hige felt. Arms crosswed over his chest, he waited until whoever else was coming had arrived and the Raikage began explaining the mission. An intel mission, this he could handle. As a member of the Delta Pack in the Inuzuka clan intel and scouting were the special training he'd received when he was younger and what he still spent a little extra time on, thus why he always worried about his speed. It might very well be dangerous but he was willing to take the risk if there was even the slightest chance he could help. Once the Raikage finishes the boy doesn't speak, his own way of showing he has no questions.
Answering the hawk, Hisomu packs up, prepares, and goes to the agreed upon meeting place. She has appeared ready to go, though she does look briefly at the others with her even as Hiei describes the situation. As things finish up, she looks to him more directly and then tilts her head to the side before saying, "What is it that we can expect from this group?" SHe hmms, "Do they focus on any particular form of jutsu?" She then looks briefly down and then looks up, "And further, what can we expect from the strength wise or is all of this the kind of informatino we are to assess?"
Michiko gets the hawk and peers at the mission a bit before getting ready. At the meeting place, she's on her horse, named Roadblock for various reasons. The girl comes alongside Ryouji, Hige, and Hisomu, nodding to the three before listening to the instructions from Hiei. Well,she doesn't quite have any questions, but she /does/ listen attentively to the answers that are given out. Her horse is completely still, oddly enough, which is probably one of the reasons he's been named Roadblock.
Hiei looks at Hisomu, "The Yakuza aren't shinobi. Though that is no reason to take them lightly. Most of them are skilled combatants..in my experience at least. Though the last time they were relevant was several years ago. Our intel on them is old. Though it is possible that Goat has renewed some of their ranks with those that can use chakra. Goat himself is extremely dangerous. And yes, he does wear a goat mask, so we aren't sure of his true identity." He rolls his shoulder. "As for their strength, that is unknown at this time and the reason why I'm sending all of you." He looks towards the gate behind the group. "I'm expecting another, but I'll send you all on ahead. He'll just have to catch up. Ryouji is in overall command of this group. I expect you to follow his orders as you would follow mine. I look forward to reading your reports. If there are no other concerns, then you should move out."
Ryouji looks surprised at that, but he's not freaking out about it. He nods and steels himself, "Of course, Raikage. We'll do our best." He looks over at the other three nodding, "They won't even know we'll be there." He gestures with a head down towards the trail and says, "Let's go." He spurs Echo off as he starts galloping down the trail heading towards the Yakuza compound, two days ride from the village to the southeast.
The Inuzuka boy glances from Hiei to Ryouji then back before nodding. With the information they have they may very well be able to get through unnoticed. Hige hops up on his borrowed horse and Konsho joins him, sitting behind his companion on a pad made for him. Once Ryouji takes off he nudges his horse to get it to follow the chuunin, the boy glancing back only briefly to ensure everyone else is coming. Not that it's really his concern, but best to keep an eye out just cause.
A nod is given to that by Hisomu and she then looks to Ryouji before looking to Hiei and then she looks to Ryouji. She hmms as she looks over at Ryouji again before nodding her head and then preparing for her journey with one last check of her gear before she will get up on to her pony and start off with the others. Even as they move out, she has a small bag of dried fruit in hand.
Michiko nods a bit at the information. "Well… How useful," she comments, not at all sarcastically… The girl gives a nod to Ryouji, then. "Well, Ryouji-kun. Keep us alive, yes?" she requests lightly, nudging her horse to follow after the Reizei, taking the rear so she can keep an eye on the back of the group. She offers a smile of encouragement to Hige when he glances in her direction before they head off, hoping that his fears don't overrun his judgement.
Hiei watches the group ride off and then turns to one of the stable hands nearby. "Prepare another horse. It's rider should be along shortly." The Raikage continues to watch the group until they are out of sight before he exhales softly and turns to walk back in through the gates, supposedly making his way back towards his office.
In the meantime, the trip for the group is relatively uneventful. They travel for most of the day and then make camp towards dusk. (Let's hope Ryouji and Michiko remember their survival training under Hiei) While they are equipped with trail rations, there are plants, insects, and animals that can be caught/hunted for food, should they know how to do so.
Ryouji nods and looks back at the group as they ride that first day. What Michiko said made him think long and hard about leading this group. Finally he drifts back towards her and says, "Michiko-chan. I thought about what you said. And I won't allow my comrades to die. I'll protect all of you with my life. Trust me." He sounds more like a leader and less like Ryouji when he says that with all the seriousness in his voice. He rides along, taking point again. Happy that Michiko takes the rear to watch their back. He says, "Hige-kun, scout ahead and make sure they don't have any advanced scouts as guards." Ryouji makes camp right before dusk, making sure they get a good distance the first day. As they find a good place to rest, he looks over at Hige and says, "Do I remember right in thinking you have some knowledge in traps and snares? Think you could set some up to catch some food?"
Hige rides along, giving a curious look to the other boy when he drifts back but doing as instructed and spurring his horse forward. Konsho leaps off of the horses back and follows and together the two scout ahead of the rest of the group, their keen Inuzuka senses on alert. Once they find their camp site for the night the boy also checks the surroundings with the nin-pup as a safety precaution before returning to the camp. Ryouji's question makes him blink in surprise before he shrugs, "I don't know much. Kaido has shown me a few things but with me and Konsho we can probably find something without it." And so again the pair head off. It takes a little while but they return eventually with a pair of rabbits with kunai holes. "Wasn't too hard with Konsho flushing them out." Just…don't ask him to cook.
As she is not spoken to, Hisomu simply listens to Ryouji speak before she looks to Hige. She hmms softly to herself before she looks to Michiko, "Can you not simply sense wehre the animals are via the ground?" She hmms at her before looking to Hige and then to Michiko again.
Michiko smiles and nods in approval to Ryouji, glad to hear those words from him. "Good. And of course, I'll do my best to protect everyone, too," she would reply. Then she sets up a small fire for them to relax around, spending just a bit of chakra for the few-hour comfort. And for cooking. "I can, but… It looks like Hige-kun took care of that for us." She tilts her head a bit as she adds, "Hmm… We should perhaps set up a rotational watch, yes? Just in case..?"
The first night is uneventful, as is travel during the second day. The second night is also uneventful and it's the morning of the third day that they come across a remote mountain range. It would require climbing gear or the tree walking skill to get to where they needed to go, but they would find a compound that is indeed built into the side of a large mountain. They would be able to see people coming in and out, some of them carrying crates and boxes, some of them standing around armed with swords, axes, staves, all kinds of weapons. On the ridge above there about ten archers keeping an eye on the landscape below them. The place seems to be pretty fortified from the side where the kumo shinobi can all see.
Ryouji nods, "Good job Hige. I can cook those up. I've had a bit of practice cooking in the wild." He fixes up the rabbits the fastest way, on a spit over a fire after cleaning them with a kunai. He nibbles on a bit of leg and listens to Michiko, "Yes, good idea. I'll take first watch. You guys get some sleep." Daybreak comes and the group takes off. As they reach the mountain he looks at the compound Ryouji surveys the situation and says, "Ok, dismount here and let's hide the horses." He hops off Echo and hides him a short distance away and out of sight from anyone in the compound. He peers at the compound again and says, "We should make our way around the mountain and come over the peak to descend into the compound." He even draws a map on the ground with a finger. He squints at the spot on the mountain and says, "There's not much for chakra up there. Just a tiny bit, but it's foggy, like it's underground somewhere."
Hige grins at the others as the food is cooked and eaten. Time passes, yada yada. When they arrive at the mountain Hige is frowning a bit. He really needs to have Kaido show him how to tree walk sometime soon. This is going to take him forever the regular way. Live and learn. Once the horses are safely stashed he crouches next to Ryouji's map drawing and only nods at his words, not saying anything himself at this point. Even Konsho just nods, not wanting to make any other sounds just in case.
Enjoying what was prepared for her as best she can, she shows little to no emotion at all about the food. On the follow day, she watches the mountain in the distance until finally they reach the area they choose to hide the horses and she nods her head to Ryouji before looking up toward the area above them and then she takes a breath, "Sounds like a good plan." She nods her head as they prepare, she looks to Hige and hmms before looking up at the mountain, "Do you know tree walking, Hige?" SHe peers at him, "If not, perhaps someone can carry you along to help speed things along? Not me…but someone."
Michiko continues to stay at the rear of the group during their travels, maybe assisting in the catching of food, too, on the second night. The third day is finally eventful, it seems, though she may not be too happy about it. Especially after seeing how much activity there is. Her horse is left with the others as she follows Ryouji, still keeping in the back of the group. And attempting to instruct Hige in some tree walking while she's at it. "Are they underground, then?" she wonders softly after hearing the report so far, starting to focus her chakra and sending it out to scout through the ground.
Michiko frowns as her senses tell her a few things. "There are… A lot of people underground, it feels like… A lot of movement below us… We should tread lightly."
As the shinobi sit and discuss their strategy, they are spotted by sentries and the only telltale sign of this are whistling in the air as the arrows from the archers above the compound begin to release their arrows towards the small group. At the same time, some people armed with an array of weapons come into the area as well.
Ryouji looks up, just in time to see an arrow smack into the ground where his drawing was, it was a good drawing. "Meet you on the other side of the mountain team, vanish!" he says, just as he runs for it to find a good hiding spot. He's not about to confront someone with destructive or flashy ranged attacks which he has. Nor is he willing to face the archers until he's closer. Get over the mountain first, then deal with them. Right now, they have the high ground and running right at him would libel to get the team shot. Best to disappear now and assult at a better position.
Konsho hears the arrows first and yips a warning, causing Hige to look up in time to see the pointy things coming their way. He jumps back just in time, moving a few more times to avoid the rain before he glances at Ryouji. Just like that huh? He's not so lucky on the whole stealth thing however and he just grumbles to himself before ducking down behind a rock to at least put something between him and the archers for now. It won't help with whatever else is coming however. He pulls out a kunai before peeking around the rock carefully while Konsho peeks out the other side.
Michiko blinks as she sees the arrows come down and makes a handseal to avoid the one that was aimed at her. It just goes through her harmlessly as she moves quickly to both get away from the archers as well as hide. The girl tries to keep down for the time being, not wanting to sink into the earth quite yet with all the activities going on underground. Maybe later…?
For her part, Hisomu is hit with several arrows…well, a clone of hers is and she is already slipping away as her clone vanishes and the arrows fall to the ground. She is doing her best to stay unseen as she rushes off to the side through some bushes and then attempts to make her way up around the mountain.
A couple of the archers and two men with polearms enter the area where the shinobi are. "Horn. I could have sworn there were more of them." The archer shrugs. "Hoof it. I see a couple of them. I'll heard them towards us." He takes aim at Hige and Hisomu, firing rapidly at the both of them. Ryouji and Michiko are successfully hidden..at least for now.
Ryouji uses his speed to quickly get out of range of the archers. He's sure that his team can now distract the archers as well as Ryouji and Michiko being stealthy. He waves to Michiko and points up the mountain. He starts climbing, using his wall walking unseen hopefully from the archers so he can catch them and silence the archers before the rest of the team becomes swiss cheese.
Hige grits his teeth as he sees archer getting ready to fire and he scoops up Konsho in one arm before dodging to the side. "Not going to let us go, huh?" The priority has to be the bowman at this point, the others will have to wait unless they get closer. When he lands from his dodge Konsho is dropped ungraciously from his arms although the nin-dog lands just fine. He pulls out a pair of kunai and tosses them at the archer, eyes flicking only briefly to make sure everyone else is okay.
Sliding along the ground as if it were some kind of conveyor belt, Hisomu simply slips away and shakes her head as she watches the arrows hit before she looks around for the others here and starts to focus her chakra. She clears her throat before looking toward Hige and then nods to him as she prepares to attack.
Michiko continues to make her way up the mountain, not fearful of any attacks coming her way as she moves both quickly and with purpose. A quick glance backwards to make sure Hisomu and Hige are okay. Judging by the fact that there are a lot of non-pained yells, she can assume they're doing just fine, which is a good thing. "Get 'em, Hige-kun. Hisomu-san…" she murmurs under her breath, crossing her fingers (mentally).
The archer hisses as Hige's kunai strikes him right in the hollow of his shoulder blade. It's going to throw off his ability to draw his bow, but that's not going to stop him from trying. He fires at the genin as he tries to keep the distance between the two of them. Meanwhile, the two melee fighters close in on Hisomu. Since Hige and Hisomu are the only shinobi that are seen, they are the ones the yakuza focus on while Michiko and Ryouji make their way up the side of the compound unseen.
As they reach the backside of the mountain, they see a cave being guarded by two swordsmen who seem to be having a smoke while on guard duty. They haven't looked in their direction just yet though.
Ryouji is focused on getting over the mountain. He knows that the sooner he gets over, the sooner he can take on the archers from above and get inside. He hopes they're ok but knows their training will carry them through. He spots the two guards and flips through hand signs, leaping up into the air to get an optimum angle. He holds the tiger hand sign and rears back to take in a big breath. Ryouji opens his mouth wide and fires off a crushing gush of air at both of them at the cave once they're in range.
When Hige sees the other two split off and head towards Hisomu the boy grits his teeth in frustration and pulls out another kunai, then charges at the archer. When the man shoots at him he flings the kunai to deflect the arrow before dashing the last little bit. His teeth and nails grow sharper and his eyes more feral as he closes the gap by dropping to all fours and launching himself forward. "Tsuga!"
As the two polearm bearing men attack her, Hisomu starts using simply hand seals, her body slides along the earth as if she were surfing on the very surface. As one polearm slams down on where she was, another slides through the area she was just standing. With one final seal she sends a stone column from the left and the right toward the two polearm wielders attempting to smash them together before she steps forward and unleashes a spray of green mist upon them both that has an insidious poison inside of it before she says softly, "You're already dead…time for your bodies to catch up."
Michiko eyes the men up ahead. As Ryouji sends a bit of wind their way, she adds her fire. It's the usual handseals that she makes as she approaches the entrance, not bothering with stealth as she seeks to simply take out the one that Ryouji was unable to get completely knocked down! "Ryouji-kun, we have to be a bit more careful from this point on…" she says, trying not to shout since they're so close to the entrance.
As Hige's teeth and claws grow, the archer realizes that he is in some real trouble here. He backpedals, attempting to stay way from the Inuzuka, but he trips and falls backwards as Hige advances upon him. Blood flows freely and after his technique is over, the genin realizes that his opponent moves no more.
The two fighters advancing upon Hisomu don't see the stone columns that rise out of the ground and slam them together. Unable to move, they have no choice but to get a face full of Hisomu's poison mist. It causes them to gag, their lips turn black, and eventually, they just sink to the ground to die.
Ryouji's surprise attack catches one of the guards off guard as is blown away from the wind attack. He falls over a ledge, not even getting a chance to yell out as he is broken in half from the impact of hitting the ground.
Michiko's surprise flame attack completely engulfs her opponent, burning him to a cinder. He falls over with a faint groan as the stink of charred flesh permeates the air. Having taken out the advanced guards, there are still a LOT more to go, and even more than that inside the compound itself.
Ryouji nods to Michiko and whispers, "Well get in as far as we can. I'll be your backup and you sense as far as you can. If we meet any resistance, we'll fall back. A quick snatch and grab. Let's go." With that, Ryouji heads off down the tunnel, moving as stealthly as he can. Sneaky sneaky!
Konsho lands in front of Hige, they're secondary plan unneeded after the boys teeth and claws connect. Blood drips down his chin and covers his fingers but he doesn't seem to notice as he turns away from the man to look back towards Hisomu. He needs to keep his teammates safe, at least the ones that are here. However when he sees the other two men dead he slowly stands, returning to his normal state and raising an arm to wipe at his chin with his sleeve, really only smearing the blood. He looks down to the body on the ground for a moment before dragging it to hide behind a bush, only then going to Hisomu, "Are you okay, Hisomu-chan?" He asks and, assuming she is, he looks back towards the mountain a moment, considering. "Should we…wait? Since they already went we don't want to get caught ourselves."
Watching Hige drag a body behind a bush, she shakes her head, "We wait." She nods her head and then she idly looks over at a spot nearby and walks over, making hand seals, she begins to seem to move around that area as she makes seals. At first, it looks like she's simply sliding around on the ground but after a moment, one can see the earth moving from the left to right, creating a progressively large hole on the left and a hill on the right, "Shortly, you will need to help me put the bodies here before we will bury them." She nods her head, "And then I'll smooth out the ground." She looks serious and grim as she nods. ~Oh good…they picked out a young sociopath for me. Fantastic.~ For a moment, as she moves, Hisomu seems to scowl a little for no reason.
Michiko nods, making a handseal to both sink into the ground and sends chakra through the earth to detect activity. She's using a slightly more advanced technique, this time, as her senses tell her how many people, what they might be doing, what exactly is moving around, etc. etc. etc. It also sends out through most of the cavern, especially as she moves, giving a sort of map to the caverns that are being used. Perhaps a bit of the more active paths are also revealed. Either way, she gets a lot of information from this one move…
With Michiko getting the information she needs and Hisomu and Hige taking care of the bodies outside. Ryouji, Michiko, Hige, and Hisomu have successfully gathered the intel needed for the Raikage to mount a massive offensive against this particular base. The best part is, the inhabitants never saw them, nor do they know that they were ever there. It's not uncommon for people to come and go around there, so the missing guards won't be missed for awhile.